I got an email yesterday from my brother with the subject header, “Dad.”
It did not forebode well–my father is over seventy years old and I can’t help but think that any big news about him has to be bad. Before I double-clicked on the email that said “Dad,” I thought, “Worst case scenario: Dad’s dead. Dad could be dead.” I don’t know why I torture myself like that–something crooked inside me thinks that it makes things easier for me to pre-grieve, or at least address worst case scenarios when my anxiety shoots up. But Dad could also be okay, even though he could be dead.
The other weird thing is that I would even think that my family would send me horrible news by email. But my brother does make it a habit to send me lifechanging announcements by email as opposed to by phone. (He announced his wedding engagement, four months after the fact, by email to me). What else had my brother emailed me?
My brother had emailed me to let me know (in case Mom hadn’t told me–which, by the way, she had not) that Dad had been hospitalized for dizziness, pain, heart palpitations and arryhthmia and elevated blood pressure (220 over 110). He had been hospitalized the day before and “You might want to call Mom at the hospital.”
No one had bothered to call me. I wonder why they do this–do they not want to bother me? There’s a history of this kind of behavior when it comes to bad news; when my grandmother died, my mother did not tell me for four months. By the time I found out, the matter had been swept under the emotional rug and I felt so out of sync with the world in my grief.
…but then again, I don’t really tell them my bad things, either.